The SEO Scene in 2013

Search Engine Optimization or SEO is a critical aspect of a successful website that converts visitors into buyers, besides helping visitors finding the website in the first place. A standard set of SEO best practices defined the way websites must be optimised for search. However, the arrival of 2013 ushered in a sea-change in Google’s algorithms, redefining SEO. User behaviour also saw a shift in the norm. Since the goals of websites remain the same regardless of the logistics used to achieve them, here are some specific pointers on approaching the SEO scene in 2013.

The emphasis is on long tail keywords and phrases  
Websites were judged for popularity and relevance based on their ranking but now, with the new SEO rules, Google has made it obvious that webmasters must lean on long tail keywords rather than worry about page rank. This is dictated by user behaviour and Google has noticed that users are trending towards “long tail” keywords or phrases with three to four words in them when they search online. To leverage this, businesses must concentrate on their keyword strategy. Rather than trying to rank for keywords, the need of the hour is building a keyword portfolio that attracts search traffic.

Content will always be king and must be treated like royalty
This means creating engaging content comprising of tutorials, how to guides and solutions to problems. Once created, it must be published across relevant or related websites to turn it into a valuable resource. Distributing content on content mills and low quality websites will simply undermine the business’s efforts to create a good reputation with content. The new trend in SEO success relies on connections with high quality websites, preferably in a similar niche. It goes without saying that content creation and distribution must be consistent both in terms of frequency and quality.

Social media is here to stay
Google relies on user behaviour based on which it brings up search results. When a user finds a website trustworthy and shares it across social media, it adds to the website’s credibility. The shared content can be via the business’ website, blog or on other websites of repute. Social media is highly efficient in distributing content to millions of users. The content created must ideally be based on what the user is looking for and the key phrases used to search for the information. Since the search engines use social signals in their algorithms, online businesses must include social media marketing in their marketing strategy.

A word about On Page SEO
On page SEO has become more important now as it goes beyond a responsive keyword portfolio, incoming links, meta description tags and alt tags. It is also about how the search engine robots see your site, its page load time on different screens and authority. All this must come together in a natural way. Website links must be periodically checked and broken links fixed.

It all boils down to a well-designed, easy to navigate, fast loading and content rich website as Google places high value on user satisfaction.

The best part of it all is, the new SEO rules are not difficult to follow. Done effectively, it pays off by attracting targeted traffic that converts, increasing the business’ ROI while building the brand.